You may not consider it such, but your website might be the most significant part of your marketing plan. Especially if you run an ecommerce business, your website acts as both your marketing strategy and your store window. The longer a potential customer spends on your website, the longer theyâ€™re exposed to your brand, your services or your products, and the better an opportunity you have to make a sale.
If you donâ€™t have a reliable host for your site, the time your website is viewable to users might be in jeopardy.
Consider the recent GoDaddy outage. When GoDaddyâ€™s router sputtered,Â over a million websites went down. Thatâ€™s a million individuals, groups and businesses that lost one of their main forms of marketing, and in some cases, their main source of income. The companies that lost their websites had to spend a lot of PR and technical support money to explain to their many customers exactly why they couldnâ€™t access their site. It all could have been averted if those companies had a more reliable siteÂâ€“and a more reliable host.
Finding a good host
There are a wide number of hosting services available to business owners, andÂ every business has its own needs in a host. If you opt for shared hosting, your website shares your host’s servers with several other websites. Your host also handles all of your IT needs on the server, including bandwidth, backups and security. On the other hand, you can opt for a dedicated server, but they can be costly and are often focused toward larger businesses with high traffic. You’ll have no bandwidth limitations (if youâ€™re willing to expand) and your site is more secure because itâ€™s on its own server.
A popular option among small businesses is free domain hosting. It seems like an attractive solution because itâ€™s free, but those hosting companies place advertising on those domains. That advertising can often slow your site down, not to mention annoy visitors. Whatâ€™s becoming one of theÂ most popular forms of web hostingÂ is the cloud server. The cloud is becoming a popular business tool in many forms, and cloud hosting is an extremely affordable and very fast option for businesses. Cloud hosting offers significant processing power because it works within an already established infrastructure thatâ€™s built to be fast and powerful. Also, given the size of the infrastructure, a website takes up a relatively small percentage of space and power, so the fee to host on the server is often accordingly small.
What your business needs
Itâ€™s important to look for a server host that fits your businessâ€™s needs. If you have a small website that receives minimal traffic, a lesser host will probably be fine for you. But if you have a well traveled website through which you do a significant amount of business, a dedicated or cloud server host may be a better choice. In any case, speed is important. Consider a tool that measures your uptime, and adjust your server needs as necessary.